How popular is the baby name Katharine in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Katharine.
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The rare name Turhan first appeared in the national dataset in 1944:
1947: 7 baby boys named Turhan
1946: 13 baby boys named Turhan
1945: 6 baby boys named Turhan
1944: 8 baby boys named Turhan [debut]
Hollywood actor Turhan Bey, who was a half-Turkish, half-Czech, Austrian-born actor who typically played exotic characters in Hollywood films during the 1940s and early 1950s. Fan magazines called him the “Turkish Delight.”
He was at the peak of his fame in the mid-1940s, so it’s hard to link this to one particular movie. That said, his name may have been boosted onto the charts in 1944 specifically thanks to the movie Dragon Seed, in which he played Lao Er (the husband of Jade, played by Katharine Hepburn).
He was born Turhan Gilbert Selahattin Sahultavy. The name Turhan, primarily (but not always) used for males, is “an old Turkish name meaning chief or nobleman.” And the Turkish word bey has a similar meaning: “ruler” or “chief.”
What are your thoughts on the baby name Turhan?
Fortna, Benjamin C. “The Ottoman Educational Legacy.” Turkey’s Engagement with Modernity: Conflict and Change in the Twentieth Century, ed. by C. Kerslake, K. Öktem, P. Robins, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, pp. 15-26.
Room, Adrian. Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins. 5th ed. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2010.
Here’s one I didn’t expect: the baby name Jade, very trendy during the last quarter of the 20th century, was put on the onomastic map in the U.S. thanks to one of the strangest roles of Katharine Hepburn’s career.
1946: 32 baby girls named Jade
1945: 37 baby girls named Jade
1944: 6 baby girls named Jade [debut]
The war drama Dragon Seed, released in the summer of 1944, told the tale of Chinese peasants fighting off Japanese invaders during 1937, at the start of the during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was based on the 1942 novel of the same name by Pearl S. Buck.
Hepburn played Jade, a Chinese woman who led the resistance in her village. (These days it would seem pretty out-of-touch — or possibly racist — to cast a non-Asian actor in a role like this one. Back then, though, it was the convention.)
After getting this boost in the mid-1940s, the name Jade stuck around in the data. In fact, it ended up reaching the top 100 for a couple of years in the early 2000s.
Looking for a surname-inspired baby name with a connection to Catholicism?
Here are more than 200 options, most of which come from Catholic Englishmen martyred during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Because the goal was to include as many realistic baby names as possible, I interpreted “surname” and “saint” liberally in some cases. Xavier is not technically a surname, for instance, and many of the folks below are not yet full-fledged saints.
Abel, for Bl. Thomas Abel (d. 1540) of England.
Abbot, for Bl. Henry Abbot (d. 1597) of England.
Albert, for Bl. Federico Albert (d. 1876) of Italy.
Almond, for St. John Almond (d. 1612) of England.
Amias, for Bl. John Amias (d. 1589) of England.
Ancina, for Bl. John Juvenal Ancina (d. 1604) of Italy.
Andleby, for Bl. William Andleby (d. 1597) of England.
Aquinas, for St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) of Italy.
Arrowsmith, for St. Edmund Arrowsmith (d. 1628) of England.
Ashley, for Bl. Ralph Ashley (d. 1606) of England.
Ashton, for Ven. Roger Ashton (d. 1592) of England.
Atkinson, for Bl. Thomas Atkinson (d. 1616) of England.
Aufield, for Bl. Thomas Aufield (d. 1585) of England.
Barlow, for St. Ambrose Barlow (d. 1641) of England.
Baylon, for St. Paschal Baylon (d. 1592) of Spain.
Becket, from St. Thomas Becket (d. 1170) of England.
Beesley, for Bl. George Beesley (d. 1591) of England.
Belson, for Bl. Thomas Belson (d. 1589) of England.
Bertie, for Servant of God Andrew Bertie (d. 2008) of England/Malta.
Bertrand, for St. Louis Bertrand (d. 1581) of Spain/South America.
Bessette, for St. André Bessette (d. 1937) of Canada.
Bonzel, for Bl. Maria Theresia Bonzel (d. 1905) of Germany.
Bosco, for St. John Bosco (d. 1888) of Italy.
Bosgrave, for Bl. Thomas Bosgrave (d. 1594) of England.
Bowes, for Bl. Marmaduke Bowes (d. 1585) of England.
Briant, for St. Alexander Briant (d. 1581) of England.
Britton, for Bl. John Britton (d. 1598) of England.
Buxton, for Bl. Christopher Buxton (d. 1588) of England.